It is with some sadness that this is our last Seattle blog as we will soon be in sunny California and while we are looking forward to California we are truly going to miss Seattle. We all truly loved Seattle and can only imagine how great this city would be in the summer months. However, as time marches on, so must we and, as such, a summer in Seattle won’t be possible this time around.
We have apparently survived one of the worst winters on record. Just our luck but we still love Seattle. With a little more sunshine, we could easily see ourselves living in Seattle full time – it’s simply that good!
Prior to leaving for the San Juan Islands in preparation for the short run south to San Francisco we decided to refuel Pendana (how I hate that job!). The folks at Elliot Bay Marina “EBM” and Tom in particular, the fuel Dock Manager, were most helpful and gave us a decent price on fuel but the pumps at EMB were very slow. In all it took us a staggering three hours and fifty minutes to pump in 2,000GAL / 7,570ltrs of fuel. The process was so slow that we ended up using two pumps at the same time.
We also completed an oil change on the main engine and two gens and took a quick run to Gig Harbour to spend a few days on the hook making sure everything was in tip top condition for the run south. After being marina bound for a while it was so nice to get back to basics and back to being at anchor. Watching the sun set and listening to the water make a calming noise on Pendana’s hull is truly relaxing, beyond words.
I was told, on more than one occasion, that the entrance to Gig Harbour was very, very narrow and hard to spot when coming in from the north. Thankfully we had no difficulty and found that on arrival we had around 100ft of usable water which was plenty big enough for us! That being said, however, we did arrive on high tide/slack water so I am sure the entrance would appear a lot tighter as the tide lowers.
Gig harbour was a great place to hang out for a few days as we literally had the place to ourselves. I am sure in the summer months this would not be the case. The harbour is so well protected that we sat on mirror finish waters with not a breath of air most of the time we were there.
If you want to see a video I shot of Pendana entering Gig Harbour please go HERE. Sorry the video is such poor quality but it was shot with the iPhone. If you want to see a video of us leaving Gig Harbour and arriving at the fuel dock in EBM in high definition then please click HERE
While in Gig Harbour I was contacted by a follower of Pendanablog who said, that he had been following us for years, owned a winery and would love to give us a bottle of his finest. Wow! Jacy and Scott Griffin for Mosquito Fleet Winery indeed delivered a lovely bottle of 2012 Cabernet Franc which we look forward to enjoying. I always say, that the reason I started this blog was to keep an electronic dairy of our travels but there is little doubt it has turned into so much more. There is rarely a week that goes past that someone doesn’t drop me a line to say hi! There is no doubt that the blog is a fantastic way to connect with like-minded individuals and both Claire and I remain forever grateful!
Now back at Elliot Bay Marina, after our little adventure away, we are only weeks away from saying good-bye to Seattle. Our plans are to spend three weeks or so in the famous San Juan Islands before making the run south to San Francisco but not before we soak up a few more views from our back deck of Seattle.
It’s funny but Seattle would never have been a place we would have visited if not for the boat. A little like Prince William Sound and Kodiak Alaska which both turned out to be real gems, as has Seattle. It’s hard to put into words what makes a place truly remarkable. Is it the people, the views, the vibe, the convenience? I guess we don’t know for sure but one thing we do know, it wasn’t the weather! Seattle is, in short, a highly underrated city on the global scale and deserves a lot more attention. From a boating perspective there is simply nothing to complain about. Sure it doesn’t have glaciers in Puget Sound, nor does it have a whole heap of sun but this city is one that punches well and truly above its weight in every respect.
It will be sad to say goodbye but goodbye we must say. There is nothing negative that any of us on board Pendana can say about what is, a truly remarkable city. San Francisco you have a lot to live up to!
The spring weather decided to deliver us one hell of a wind storm almost as if to wish us farewell. With winds peaking at 47kts in the Marina and sustained 40kts average for around twelve hours poor Pendana was being blown onto the dock throughout the ordeal. With my new whiz bang, superyacht, US manufactured, best on the planet Pro Stock fenders in place I could do no more than hope they would not burst. Honestly, I was a little concerned as the fenders rubbed up and down on the three foot wooden siding of berth N116 at Elliot Bay Marina as they protected Pendana’s highly mirrored finish hull from the wooden structure that lay only scant inches away. As I was convinced they were going to burst, I did have a back-up plan of stealing some fenders from another boat close by which was being blown off the dock as I am sure the owner wouldn’t mind. Anyway, my fears were unfounded and the Pro Stock fenders lived up to their well-deserved reputation. Thankful I didn’t buy the cheaper Aere Fenders as while I would have saved a few bucks I am also sure they would have burst as I hear of more and more reports coming in about the Aere Fenders failing.
I must admit there were two things left still to do. One of those that was annoying me was the state and condition of our anchor DO5 Directional Control Valve. With David Wright from ABT-Trac on hand I decided it was high time to have the offending part replaced as it was only a matter of time before failure would result. With boats the secret is, to get in first and replace anything that is suspect – if you don’t it will fail and always at the most awkward of times.
The other item I was starting to worry about was my starboard and port generator raw water pumps. So with the folks from Hatton Marine on site (Dennis) and parts ordered we went about getting both replaced. Apparently raw water pumps should be changed every five years, so in the spirit of being proactive i.e. replacing parts before they fail this is simply another job done!
Interestingly, or not, I used to change my impellers on the raw water pump every 250 hours when I changed the oil. That being said, however, I decided that as the impellers looked perfect at every change that I would let them go to 500 hours and see what they looked like. The photo below shows the port generator impeller; looking as good as new at 501 hours.
As it stands right now there is NOTHING on Pendana’s list of jobs to do, not even a light bulb needs changing! If the truth be told, that is exactly how I like it!
Now for something completely different! There has been much talk recently about the health benefits of Vegemite if you have been keeping up with the press. The Australian spread that is in a few words, simply delicious. If you don’t believe me just ask David Wright from ABT-TRAC, he will tell you it tastes just great! Anyway, the other day Abi was enjoying Vegemite on toast when Oscar came to investigate. Seems even Australian cats can’t get enough of Vegemite! I for one know that even the folks aboard N55 Zoe love Vegemite and keep plenty in stock. So if you are yet to try this fantastic tasting eat-any-time snack, make sure you grab some when next at the supermarket as you will be amazed at how great it tastes!
So, for those you are interested “Cruising Conversations, A Million Nautical Miles and Counting. Volume One” is now available to ship worldwide.
The book is over 350+ A4 sized pages and like From Family to Crew it is printed in full colour with literally hundreds and hundreds of colour photographs. In fact the book is twice the size of From Family to Crew. With interviews covering some of the modern day heroes when it comes to crossing oceans and with updates on where they are now, my hope is that there is real value in this book for all.
Please follow this LINK. Book is also available on Amazon for all you Amazon lovers out there and is getting a fair bit of traction and coverage in the press.
One thing we had to do while in Seattle was go and see an ice hockey game. With tickets booked we were treated to a great nights entertainment as we watched the Seattle Thunderbirds deliver a punishing blow the little green midgets from Everett. In extra time Seattle scored the winning goal and took line honours in the 5-4 match. What a great night!
Ok so it’s now time to get ready for the bright lights further south, of San Francisco. While the short run south is relatively straightforward there is one thing I am hoping for above and beyond everything else and that is, a distinct lack of fog. I can deal with most things but I do not like running in fog, not one bit! Fingers crossed the weather Gods once again look favourably on the Pendana crew and deliver a fog free passage, although I have been told by folks that know, that the only way to ensure a fog free passage is to go by road! Time will tell!